Imagus Inc. Medical Imaging Clinics
imagusinc.com

ULTRASOUND

Ultrasound is a diagnostic test, involving the use of an ultrasound probe running over the area to be examined to see the organs and/or structures inside your body. A water based gel is used to allow the sound waves from the ultrasound probe to pass through the body and return to form a diagnostic picture. You may be asked to put on a gown - depending on the type of ultrasound you're having and what you are wearing. This will help keep your clothes clean; however, if gel does get on your clothing, it will wash off. If you're wearing a garment that is 'dry-clean-only', you may wish to change into a gown - ask your technologist. The gel is room-temperature but will feel a little cold at first. We do not use "gel-warmers" at our facility, as these are known to cause bacteria to grow. If we are scanning an area of your body that has an open wound, we will use sterile ultrasound gel (single-use packets).

The sound waves produce a picture of black, white and different shades of grey depending on the different densities in your body; with black being fluid (the least amount of density) and white being bone (the highest amount of density). Colour is also used to show movement like the blood flowing through the vessels. The picture is shown on the computer screen. The technologist will take measurements of the organs and/or structures and prepare the image to be read by the radiologist (a Doctor that specializes in reading the images). Sometimes, when a second-opinion is desired, the technologist will ask a colleague (another Sonographer or our Radiologist) to view the images with them. When the test is completed, the gel will be wiped off with towels but will feel tacky and sticky until it dries completely. If any is missed and gets on your clothes, it will not stain and will dry just like water.

SONOGRAPHER (ultrasound technologist):

Diagnostic Ultrasound is highly operator-dependent. What this means is that the examination is only as good as the operator and it is essential that the sonographer (operator) is properly trained.

According to Wikipedia (online encyclopaedia), "Sonographers are diagnostic medical professionals who operate ultrasonic imaging devices to produce diagnostic images, scans, videos, or 3D volumes of anatomy and diagnostic data. Sonography requires specialized education and skills to view, analyze and modify the scan to optimize the information in the image. Because of the high levels of decisional latitude and diagnostic input, sonographers have a high degree of responsibility in the diagnostic process. Many countries require that medical sonographers have professional certification. Sonographers must understand ultrasound physics, cross sectional anatomy, physiology, pathology and communication skills/ They also require highly developed psycho-motor skills that are specific to the profession".

Our sonographers are highly trained/skilled professionals - in keeping with the above-noted definition - all of them are licensed by the ARDMS (American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography) and/or the CARDUP (Canadian Association of Registered Diagnostic Ultrasound Professionals). We are proud of our team of Sonographers. We employ five excellent Sonographers - one part-time and four full-time. Between the five of them, they have over 105 years experience in diagnostic medical sonography (employed by our facilities for 44 of these years).

Results

The radiologist will dictate a report based on all of the available information (the current images, any comparison images that are available, as well as the information provided by you during your scan, and the information provided by your doctor). The transcriptionist will listen to the report, type it and send it by fax (or courier - depending on your doctor's preference) to your doctor(s). Your doctor will use the information in the report to aid in your diagnosis or, if you are having a routine obstetric ultrasound, will use the information to assess the growth and health of your baby. The exam will be reported by our Radiologist within 24 hours, Monday through Thursday and exams completed on Friday will be reported by the following Monday, and faxed to your own doctor.

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SONOGRAPHER (ultrasound technologist):

According to Wikipedia (online encyclopaedia), "Sonographers are diagnostic medical professionals who operate ultrasonic imaging devices to produce diagnostic images, scans, videos, or 3D volumes of anatomy and diagnostic data. Sonography requires specialized education and skills to view, analyze and modify the scan to optimize the information in the image. Because of the high levels of decisional latitude and diagnostic input, sonographers have a high degree of responsibility in the diagnostic process. Many countries require that medical sonographers have professional certification. Sonographers must understand ultrasound physics, cross sectional anatomy, physiology, pathology and communication skills/ They also require highly developed psycho-motor skills that are specific to the profession".

Our sonographers are highly trained/skilled professionals - in keeping with the above-noted definition - all of them are licensed by the ARDMS (American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography) and/or the CARDUP (Canadian Association of Registered Diagnostic Ultrasound Professionals). We are proud of our team of Sonographers. We employ five excellent Sonographers - one part-time and four full-time. Between the five of them, they have over 105 years experience in diagnostic medical sonography (employed by our facilities for 44 of these years).

MUSCULOSKELETAL ULTRASOUND (MSK)

Our facilities specialize in MSK Ultrasound. We have two Radiologists and one or two Fellows (depending on the Academic year) that are specially trained in this type of ultrasound. Their interests include: Sports Imaging, Rheumatology, Interventional MSK Ultrasound, Internal Derangement of Joints, Peripheral Nerve Imaging, Ultrasound-Guided MSK Intervention as well as MSK Research. Their expertise is sought by many Sports Medicine Specialists, Orthopaedic Surgeons, and Rheumatologists, and as such, we have a lengthy waiting list for this type of ultrasound. We hold special "MSK Clinic Days" twice a week at Charlton X-Ray and a couple times per month at Ancaster X-Ray in an effort to keep the wait list as short as possible. Our MSK Specialists are active participants in these clinic days and in many cases participate in scanning the patient as well as reading the images.

Preparation

There is no preparation for this test.

How the test is done:

MSK ultrasound can be used to examine any part of the muscles or bones of the body. This test can be done on your shoulders, hands, wrists, knees, feet, ankles or on any lump that you or your doctor can feel. Depending on the area that is being examined, you will be either sitting in a chair or lying down on the padded ultrasound table. You may be asked to move your arms or legs in different positions to assist the technologist as she scans the area(s) requested by your doctor. When the test is completed, the gel will be wiped off with towels but will feel tacky and sticky until it dries completely. If any is missed and gets on your clothes, it will not stain and will dry just like water.

Exam time

Most times, the test takes approximately thirty (30) minutes but could take longer if you are having multiple areas scanned.

ABDOMINAL ULTRASOUND

Preparation

You will have been instructed to fast before this exam. Fasting is not eating or drinking from 10pm the night before the exam. In addition, we request that your evening meal be as fat-free as possible. This will help us get the best images possible of your gallbladder.

How the test is done

An abdominal ultrasound is a test that examines the organs in the abdomen. These include the kidneys, spleen, liver, gallbladder, pancreas and great vessels (Aorta and Inferior Vena Cava).

You may be asked to put on a gown as the ultrasound must pass through the bare skin. This will help keep your clothes clean; however, if gel gets on your belongings, it will wash off. If you're wearing a garment that is dry-cleanable only, you may wish to change into a gown - ask your technologist.

During the test you may be asked to lie on a padded (ultrasound) table on your back, and move to both sides and standing to allow the technologist to see all organs needed. You will also be asked to breathe in and hold your breath as this will fill your lungs and allow them to push the organs below the ribcage to see better . The water based gel will be placed over your belly and the ultrasound probe will run along you belly to see the organs underneath.

Exam Time

The test takes approximately thirty (30) minutes.

OBSTETRICAL ULTRASOUND

Preparation

You will have been instructed to have a full bladder for this exam. Please drink one (1) litre (or four 8 ounce/250 ml cups) of water to be finished one hour prior to the examination. Do not empty your bladder as it is used as a window into the pelvic cavity to allow the technologist to see the baby.

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How the test is done

An obstetrical ultrasound involves measurements taken of the baby to determine the gestational age (due date) by ultrasound. The ultrasound probe will be placed on your belly which is over the baby’s heart and a measurement of the heartbeat will be calculated by the ultrasound machine.

You will be asked to lie on a padded (ultrasound)examination table on your back. The water based ultrasound gel will be placed over the bladder and the ultrasound probe will move over the pelvis to visualize the uterus. Obstetrical ultrasounds are usually done at least twice during the course of a normal pregnancy. The first ultrasound is usually done within the first two months to accurately date the pregnancy by ultrasound. The second ultrasound is done at 18 to 20 weeks gestation (pregnancy), and will look at all the anatomy (body) of the baby, the structures in the brain, face, chest, heart, abdomen and the arms, hands, feet and legs. Measurements of the head, abdomen and legs are taken to determine gestational age. The placenta and umbilical cord is examined.

Exam Time

The test takes approximately thirty (30) minutes.

PELVIC (FEMALE) ULTRASOUND AND TRANSVAGINAL ULTRASOUND

Preparation

You will have been instructed to have a full bladder for this exam. Please drink one (1) litre (or four 8 ounce/250 ml cups) of water to be finished one hour prior to the examination. Do not empty your bladder as it is used as a window into the pelvic cavity.

External Probe Internal Probe http://t0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRlhTF_-XmdrWBm_nxveAAH91kf-kkEmJ53d6pNkm1hbIbcvtv2UAhttp://t0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTaQfQU1tplLnywsH1qXL_14akPIj31FdbZza4RnueaymJPT-oy5pfnA70fhg

How the test is done:

External test

The organs in the pelvic cavity that will be assessed will be the uterus, ovaries, bladder and the areas adjacent to the ovaries. The external portion of the test takes approximately 15-20 minutes.

To see the internal organs with a closer view, you will be asked if you are willing to have an internal ultrasound called a transvaginal ultrasound. If you wish to proceed with the internal examination, you'll be given time to empty your bladder. This requires a long handled ultrasound probe to be inserted into the vaginal canal for a better and closer look at the uterus, ovaries and surrounding areas.

Internal test

The internal ultrasound probe is thoroughly cleaned with a special hospital-grade germicide after each examination. As an additional measure of protection, the probe is covered with either a latex condom, or if you have allergies, a non-latex probe cover. You will be asked to lie on the ultrasound table with your hips elevated on a cushion. Sterile lubricating jelly is put on the probe and the probe is inserted into the vaginal canal either by yourself, or the technologist if you prefer. This is an internal exam and will not be painful but can cause some discomfort. It is best if you try to relax and breathe normally during the exam. The internal portion of the test takes approximately 10-15 minutes.

Exam time

The complete exam takes approximately thirty (30) minutes as the ultrasound probe is moved around during the test. This gives a close up look at the organs in the pelvis. When the test is completed, the probe will be removed and you will be given towels to clean up. There is always a slight chance of some spotting caused by irritation to the vaginal canal by the ultrasound probe. This usually does not last longer than a few hours. It would be wise to use a panty-liner to protect your clothing for a few hours after the test. If you don't have a liner with you, please ask the technologist for one.

MALE PELVIC ULTRASOUND

Preparation

You will have been instructed to have a full bladder for this exam. Please drink one (1) litre (or four 8 ounce/250 ml cups) of water to be finished one hour prior to the examination. Do not empty your bladder as it is used as a window into the pelvic cavity.

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How the test is done:

The organs in the pelvic cavity that will be seen are the prostate, the seminal vesicles, the bladder and the surrounding tissues. This test gives an overall view of the pelvis and at the end you will be asked to empty your bladder and two more pictures will be taken. At the end of the test, the gel will be wiped off with towels but will feel tacky and sticky until it dries completely. If any is missed and gets on your clothes, it will not stain and will dry just like water.

Exam time

The test takes approximately thirty (30) minutes.

CAROTID DOPPLER ULTRASOUND

Preparation

There is no preparation for this test.

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How the test is done:

The test looks at the carotid arteries, vertebral arteries, internal carotid arteries and the external carotid arteries. You will hear the blood flowing in the arteries (through the speakers on the ultrasound machine) during the test. You will be asked to lie face up (on a padded ultrasound bed) and you will be positioned (or asked to change positions) by the technologist while she attempts to get the best view of each vessel. When the test is finished the gel will be wiped off with towels but will feel tacky and sticky until it dries completely. If any is missed and gets on your clothes, it will not stain and will dry just like water. You will be allowed to sit up but please sit for a few minutes before standing as you may feel lightheaded from having your neck extended on the bed.

Exam time

This test takes longer than the average ultrasound. The extra time is necessary to accurately measure the blood flowing in your arteries. The approximate time for this test is usually one hour.

VENOUS LEG DOPPLER ULTRASOUND

Preparation

There is no preparation for this test.

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How the test is done:

A venous Doppler ultrasound looks at the veins in your leg. The common femoral vein, the superficial femoral vein, and the popliteal vein, to where it branches at the trifurcation. You will hear the blood flowing in your veins (through the speakers on the ultrasound machine). This test is done to determine if you have a blood clot in one of your veins.

This test is done starting with you lying face up on a padded ultrasound table with you knee partially bent and your leg rolled out to the side and then you will be asked to move as needed to assess the full length of each vessel being examined. This exam requires a lot of patience and cooperation. A water based ultrasound gel is placed on your leg and the ultrasound probe will move from your groin to your knee. This test involved the technologist pushing against your leg with pressure to compress the vein and at times the lower leg will be squeezed to show the technologist the blood flowing in the veins. You will then be asked to lie either on your side or stomach to see the veins behind you knee. Again, the technologist will apply pressure to compress the veins and will squeeze the lower leg to see the blood flow in the veins behind your knee. When the test is done you will be given towels to wipe the gel off your leg, it will feel tacky and sticky until it dries completely. If any is missed and gets on your clothes, it will not stain and will dry just like water.

Exam time

This test takes approximately thirty minutes.

THYROID ULTRASOUND

Preparation

There is no preparation for this test.

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How the test is done:

This test looks at the thyroid gland, midline structures and the muscles of the neck on both sides. You will be asked to lie face up (on a padded ultrasound bed) and you will be positioned (or asked to change positions) by the technologist while she attempts to get the best view of your neck. The gel is placed on the neck while the technologist scans up and down your neck to get the best images of your thyroid gland and the surrounding structures. At the end of the test, the gel will be wiped off with towels but will feel tacky and sticky until it dries completely. If any is missed and gets on your clothes, it will not stain and will dry just like water.

Exam time

The test takes approximately thirty (30) minutes.

TESTICULAR ULTRASOUND

Preparation

There is no preparation for this test.

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How the test is done:

This test looks at the testicles, epididymides, and the scrotal sac. You will be asked to lie face up (on a padded ultrasound bed) and you will be positioned (or asked to change positions) by the technologist while she attempts to get the best view of your testicles. The gel is placed on the scrotum and the ultrasound probes moves around the scrotum to get the best views of the structures in the scrotal sac. At the end of the test, the gel will be wiped off with towels but will feel tacky and sticky until it dries completely. If any is missed and gets on your clothes, it will not stain and will dry just like water.

Exam time

The test takes approximately thirty (30) minutes.